Michael Connor
Since 2002
Works in Brooklyn, New York United States of America


Grappling with complexity, women in tech, and Leonard Nimoy: Perry Chen's Y2K


Screenshot of Leonard Nimoy in Y2K Family Survival Guide (1999). 

In December, Perry Chen organized a panel discussion at the New Museum (copresented with Rhizome and Creative Time Reports) exploring the phenomenon and legacy of the Y2K bug, as part of his ongoing project Computers in Crisis. Along with a presentation of books and video clips from the time, he assembled three Y2K experts to share their own experiences of preparing for 1/1/00, at which point many computer systems were expected to interpret the two-digit date as "1900" rather than "2000," with harrowing results. 


Ana Maria Uribe, Anipoems


 Ana Maria Uribe, Escalera 3 (1999).

Ana Maria Uribe (1951-2004) was an Argentine visual poet who made work online beginning in 1997 after working in other media for many years. When she passed away in 2004, Jim Andrews (who runs Visual Poetry website vispo.com) posted a moving tribute to her work on Rhizome's mailing list, including this quote in which she recounts her formative experiences as a poetry: 

I started with visual poetry in the late 60's after seeing some of Apollinaire's poems and Morgenstern's "Night Song of the Fish". Shortly afterwards I met Edgardo Antonio Vigo, who was then editing a magazine called "Diagonal Cero", devoted to visual poetry and mail art, and other poets such as Luis Pazos and Jorge de Lujan Gutierrez. They all lived in La Plata, a town which is 50 km from Buenos Aires, where I live, and we communicated by ordinary mail, either because there was a shortage of telephones at that time or to save costs, I don't remember which. I still keep some of the letters...

At a moment when many artists are again considering the medial qualities of poetry, Uribe's work seems well worth revisiting, particularly because (as Andrews noted, of her CD-ROM works) it reflected an understanding of "the poem on the screen as a performance." In the works, text is generally used pictorially (as with the ladder made of capital H's in the Escalera series), and rotated or otherwise manipulated to introduce a sense of motion into the scene. In the Rebote series, for example, the dots of lowercase i's bounce around playfully:


Required Reading: Paul Soulellis on Experimental Publishing


Image: Scott Gelber

It may seem odd to cite a syllabus as required reading, but this RISD class on Experimental Publishing offers a cogent way of thinking about what instructor Paul Soulellis, after de Certeau, calls the "scriptural economy." 

Let's begin with the post, exposing its origins as a physical note publicly nailed to a piece of wood. Its descendants persist today, plainly visible on the wall, in the feed and in the stream as traces of a deeper history of documents — the scriptural economy. Is posting (always) publishing?

May Waver, 'Embedded Lullabies' (2015)


Last fall, Gabriella Hileman, Violet Forest, and May Waver issued this statement, the cybertwee manifesto, in defense of internet saccharine:

Gabriella Hileman, Violet Forest, and May Waver, the cybertwee manifesto (2015).

Waver's new work Embedded Lullabies, released yesterday as the latest in an impressive series of net art commissions by experimental online publishing startup NewHive, embodies the principles of sentimentality and sweetness celebrated in this text. The project consists of home video footage of her bedding in various lights, overlaid against lo-res digital backdrops and accompanied by home recordings of the artist singing mournful love songs.

The piece reminds me a lot of something you might have seen back in the day on a Joanie4Jackie tape, updated for the present-day web. Joanie4Jackie was a kind of home video chain letter/zine initiated by Miranda July in 1996; a selection of the tapes are included in the touring exhibition "Alien She," opening on Sunday at the Orange County Museum of Art


After VVORK: How (and why) we archived a contemporary art blog


Screenshot of VVork post from April 2006, as archived by Rhizome.

Today, Rhizome unveils a new archive of the contemporary art blog VVork (2006-2012), in which we demonstrate a novel solution to the problem of conserving websites with embedded videos.

VVork makes a useful test case for our digital conservation efforts because it presents one relatively narrow but difficult set of problems to solve. That is, when videos are embedded in a website, they are generally hosted on a third-party platform (on YouTube, for example); this means they may be deleted or taken down, sometimes for "inappropriate" content. But saving these videos into an archive creates problems for most scraping tools, especially when a video is used in many different contexts, as when the same video appears on multiple tag pages. The way these platforms select and serve the video files makes it difficult to have all embeds of the same video point to a single archival copy.

To address these issues, Rhizome's Digital Conservator Dragan Espenschied used Colloq, a tool for creating contextual archives that was developed by Rhizome in partnership with Ilya Kreymer in 2014. (The service builds on Kremer's pywb tools; you can read up on the technical details of of capturing the web video here.) Colloq offers a robust solution for this long-standing issue; with VVork as a test case, we have created a stable archive of the site including nearly all embedded video.



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DISCUSSION

Internet Real Estate, Art and Power: The cases of Artsy and .art


Hi Tom, I did read all of those posts while this article was in process, thank you for sharing them here. I think Orit added something new to the discussion through her bringing together of these two examples as indicative of a growing awareness of the underlying political structures behind the URL,

The article does indeed say "whoa, wait a minute." For example:
"But it also presents the organization with the opportunity to wield a kind of centralized power that seems incongruous not only with the egalitarian politics advanced through e-flux’s editorial, but also with the concept of the Internet as a shared resource."

Also: dotorg for life baby. I am, like you, skeptical that the GTLDs will change the face of the internet, but I don't think the article advances the ICANN party line. The point of Orit's Zola flourish was to suggest that there is serious money involved, a point I think you'd agree with.

Finally, the question of a gatekeeper vs curator is quite a tricky one. While I wanted to support Orit in asking critical questions about e-flux' stewardship of the .art domain, I am happy this didn't turn into a straightforward argument on behalf of deviantart's bid, which raises its own kind of issues.

A few years ago I wrote a text 'A Manual for the Twenty-First Century Gatekeeper' ... I admit that I was guilty of imprecisely defining my terms, but I would also argue that this follows common usage; the word 'curate' is now often used to refer to the act of selecting content.

One idea that came out of my research was that democracy tends not to be the most interesting process for the selection of artwork. The reason for this is that the selection or inclusion of an artwork typically tells an audience more about the selector than it does about the work. Selections made by large groups cannot be said to be more or less valid than those made by individuals or small groups, and they lack any sense of personal risk, of a passionate commitment made by an advocate on behalf of the work.

While I share your worry about the centralization of online art power in e-flux's hands, I also admire and enjoy their curatorial voice, and I'm not quite ready to throw my support behind deviantart...

In your post on the topic, your contrast between "web-based art culture" and the "gallery-based power structure" does elide some of these complexities. Granted, it was a short blog post, and I don't mean to nit-pick. But I'm glad that Orit chose not to offer up an easy resolution, because I don't think one exists.

DISCUSSION

EVENT

Definition I: Low-Res (Palazzo Peckham)


Dates:
Thu May 30, 2013 16:00 - Thu May 30, 2013

Location:
Venice, Italy

Rhizome's Michael Connor moderates a conversation with Hito Steyerl and Oliver Laric at Palazzo Peckham.

(The last bridge on the left at the end of the Garibaldi (the road between the Arsenale and Giardini!)


DISCUSSION

Jack Goldstein, GIF Artist?


Sounds like a great event..

DISCUSSION

Culturehall Spring 2013 New Artists Feature Application Call


So for $35, artists get...what exactly?